Work

Dan Von KohornInvestor & Builder

I am a Principal of Beta Fund, a software startup guy, and a private trustee. I’ve spent my career in investment management and software development. I love building things and learning as much as I can. I’ve been a startup CTO and technical advisor several times. I ran a commodity fund for 7 years. Lately, I am focusing on decision-support systems, adaptive learning, and civic applications. I also run a local meetup group called New England Artificial Intelligence.

My first entrepreneurial experience was in 1999 when I founded ThoughtStore, a web-based market for intellectual property licensing which was acquired with mixed results 16 months later.  I joined my advisor, Mediatech Capital Partners and did early-stage tech M&A.  Previously, I was Director of Research at Winged Keel Asset Management and began my career as an analyst in the Fixed Income Applied Research Group at JP Morgan Investments.

Princeton University, class of 1997. Economics major, Certificate in Applied and Computational Mathematics.


Experience


Beta Fund
Principal
Chestnut Hill, MA

  • Formation and management of micro VC fund.

Apt Capital / VKRA
January 2012 – Current: President of Apt Capital
August 2005 – May 2013: Portfolio Manager of commodity fund
August 2002 – December 2011: Vice President of VKRA
Chestnut Hill, MA & Westport, CT

  • Portfolio Manager for commodity investment limited partnership.
  • R&D and member of investment committee for three investment limited partnerships.
  • Lead software developer, data acquisition and quantitative signaling.
  • Quantitative analysis: relative value, time series, yield & premium curves, fundamental valuation, statistical arbitrage, and efficient frontier modeling.

Mediatech Capital Partners
July 2002 – Current: Outside Director, Technology Investments
July 2001 – July 2002: VP
New York, NY

  • Corporate finance and strategic advisor in the software, information services, and network device sectors.
  • Negotiated advisory engagement with the firm’s first public client.
  • Assisted with 60+ projects including M&A, financing, restructuring.

Beacon Angels
January 2006 – January 2013: Co-founder
Boston, MA

  • Built a community for fast-growing companies and active private investors.
  • VP & Chair of the Screening Committee for 7 years.
  • Active due diligence participation, focus on technology.

AnIdea Corporation
Sept. 2000 – Sept. 2001: Chief Strategic Officer
May 1999 – Sept. 2000: Founder & CEO, ThoughtStore, Inc.
New York, NY

  • Founded ThoughtStore, an online intellectual property licensing exchange.
  • Served more than 600 individual and institutional IP portfolio managers.
  • Sold ThoughtStore to AnIdea Corp.
  • Licensed system to Lucent Technologies for license management of software products from Bell Laboratories.

Winged Keel Asset Management
Oct. 1998 – Jan. 2000: Director of Research
New York, NY

  • Responsible for the asset allocation, investment research, and performance measurement for the firm.
  • Developed automated systems for asset allocation, documentation, and client-ready presentations.
  • Built automated notification tools to streamline client communications.
  • Built automated marketing reports to identify cross-selling targets and improve sales pipeline visibility.
  • Technology Committee chairman, Executive Committee member.

JP Morgan Investments, Fixed Income Group
July 1997 – Oct. 1998: Analyst
New York, NY

  • Primary responsibility for development of Broad Market and Tax Aware Frameworks (fixed income asset allocation models). The models produced portfolios optimized by excess or absolute risk and return characteristics, with optimal bet sizes and turnover rates for strategic and tactical management of duration and sector allocations. Tax Aware Framework additionally considered income and capital gains tax rates.
  • Produced 19 custom pitches with asset allocations, resulting in new or enhanced mandates for $4.2 Billion from institutions, government organizations, and high net worth individuals.
  • Assisted development of relative-value program for security selection in dollar-neutral fund overlay strategy for the Multi-Markets Group, an internal hedge fund.
  • Produced market analytics for pricing and strategy of Muni BMA swaps, duration management of taxable portfolios using derivatives, and crossover trading.
  • Taught employee classes for fixed income analytics, derivatives pricing, and asset allocation.
  • Received the only perfect score on the division-wide annual performance review for 1998.

Education


Online Courses
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Fall 2011, Advanced track, 93.1%
Machine Learning, Fall 2011, Advanced track, 100%

Wolfram Education Group
M330: Neural Networks, November 2003

  • Feed-forward Neural Networks and Radial Basis Function, Nonlinear Dynamic Black-Box Modeling, Classification and Clustering with Neural Networks.

Princeton University
A.B. in Economics
Certificate in Applied and Computational Mathematics
September 1993 – June 1997

  • Graduate courses: Principles of Corporate Finance, Legal and Regulatory Policy Toward Markets, International Macroeconomics, Topics in Applied Economics: Financial Markets.
  • Original Research: Finance: Deviations from MPT, CAPM, and APT, as Applied to Global Equities Indices; Number theory: Order Relations of Infractions.

Writing Samples

Community Service

Professional Associations

  • Registered Investment Advisor representative (NASD, Series 65) (’99)
  • Member, New York Society of Security Analysts, (’99)

Additional Experience

  • Private Trustee
  • CTO, Tournament Trading Technologies (’09 – ’11)
  • Chief Architect, Firecracker (’11 – ’12), Advisor (’12 – present)
  • Board of Directors: Group MixInnerPass, Inc.  (’08 – ’12)
  • Founding Partner: IRIServe  (Industrial Response Internet Services) (’02)
  • Board of advisors, Jovus Inc.  (Financial services software) (’02)
  • Technical advisory board: RealAI  (game combat AI) (’01)
  • English teacher, 7 Japanese companies in Tokyo (’95)
  • Assistant, Brookhaven National Labs Linear Particle Accelerator test facility (’95)

Personal

  • Open source and free software advocate.
  • Favorite technology stack is Python / Django / Neo4j / Twitter Bootstrap
  • Previous favorites include Python on Google App Engine and Linux / Apache / MySQL / Perl (for many years)
  • Enjoy skiing, carpentry, electronics.
  • Basic Japanese and Spanish.
  • Married, three children.